Creating a Portico

Reference Number: KB-00168
Last Modified: February 20, 2018

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite or Home Designer Interiors


A portico is typically a roofed porch leading to the entrance of a building, or extended as a colonnade, supported by columns.  How can I create this in Home Designer?


To create an area covered by a roof where actual walls don't exist, you can use Invisible Walls.

Creating the portico room area

  1. Open the plan in which you want to create the portico.

  2. From the menu, select Build> Railing and Deck> Straight Railing , then click and drag to create the space that will be enclosed by your roof.

    In previous versions, this tool was found in Build> Wall> Straight Railing.

  3. Using the Select Objects tool select each of the railings and click Open Object .

    In the Railing Specification dialog:

    • Check Invisible under the Options section of the General panel and click OK.

  4. Using the Select Objects tool, select the newly created room, and click on the Open Object edit button to display the Room Specification dialog.

  5. In the Room Specification dialog:

    • Set your Room Type for the area as a Deck, Porch, or Slab

    • On the Structure panel, set your Floor (C) and Finished Ceiling (F) values, and check Roof Over this Room if it is not already selected.

    • Click OK to apply these changes and close the dialog.

Now that we have our basic room defined, we are ready to have the automatic roof generator create a gable over the front door entry area.

Creating a gable over the front door

  1. From the menu, select Build> Wall> Break Wall , then click to place a break on the side of the invisible wall where you want the gable to be.

  2. Using the Select Objects tool, click on the wall segment, then select the Change to Gable Wall edit tool.

  3. For the purposes of our example, we will also set the Invisible Wall on the right side of the porch to also be Full Gable.

  4. If you do not have Auto Rebuild Roofs enabled, select Build> Roof> Build Roof and click OK to rebuild the roof based on these changes.

    In Home Designer Pro, check the Build Roof Planes box before clicking OK.

Now that we have our roof set up correctly, we're ready to place columns from the Library Browser.

Placing and positioning columns from the Library Browser

  1. From the menu, select View> Library Browser .

    In prior versions of the software the Library Browser toggle was found in the Library menu

  2. Navigate to Architectural> Millwork> Columns, and select an appropriate column to place in your design.

    For the purposes of our example, we will use the "Doric Faceted Column."

  3. Once selected, click in your plan to place the column, then create a 3D Full Camera view of the column so that you can resize and position it.

  4. You can then Copy and Paste additional columns and position them along your portico area.